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OHSAA votes to expand football playoffs

SOSA Staff Report

COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association has passed a vote that will expand the state football playoffs.

The change will allow 12 teams in each region, instead of eight, to qualify for the postseason beginning in the 2021 season.

Additionally, the top four teams in each region would receive a bye week to begin the postseason. There would still be a 10-game regular season.

The vote was passed by a 9-0 margin.

From the OHSAA:

“We still have details to work out regarding the format and specific season dates, but this vote by the Board gives us the green light to finalize those details for 2021,” said Beau Rugg, Senior Director of Officiating and Sport Management for the OHSAA and the Association’s football administrator. “We are thankful for the Board’s support on this proposal, which will bring all the great things of playoff football to 112 additional schools and communities.” 

Rugg also noted that the football finals in 2021 are expected to end during the same weekend as previously scheduled (Dec. 2-5). Schools will still be permitted to play 10 regular-season contests.

During the first round of the playoffs, the top four seeds will have a bye, while the No. 12 seed will play at the No. 5 seed, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7 and No. 9 at No. 8.

In the second round, the No. 1 seed will play the winner of the 8 vs. 9 game; the No. 2 seed will play the winner of 6 vs. 11; the No. 3 seed will play the winner of 7 vs. 10 and the No. 4 seed will play the winner of 5 vs. 12. 

The higher seeded teams will have the opportunity to host their playoff games during the first and second round of the playoffs. 

The expansion will increase the number of football playoff qualifiers from 224 to 336. Last year there were 709 schools in Ohio that played 11-man football. Football is the only OHSAA team sport in which not every school qualifies for the postseason.

About Derrick Webb

Derrick is SOSA's chief content coordinator and has worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, the Portsmouth Daily Times and Eleven Warriors. He's a 13-time award-winning journalist, a self-proclaimed baseball purist, a suffering Bengals fan and has never met a stranger.
Read All Posts By Derrick Webb

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